alright fine, i'm gonna defend "Metropolis."

and yes, i mean the rebrand.

hopefully i can make it short, too, because a friend of mine pointed out this one particular reason why, um…

well, why none of this *gestures vaguely* even matters.

…but that would spoil this whole piece.

so i'll save that for the end and I'll tell you a short story about how, in the beginning, I did not like this whole thing very much at all.

but first of all, who am i?

well, i'm nobody.


i have no direct connection to the team, i'm not a user of their product, and i have no real affiliation with them except that I was a facilitator and participant at GLF recently.

i'm about as acquainted with them as most people.

which is to say: i'm not.

but i'm also a person that:

  • looooves the whole Orca vibe,

  • reeeeally admires the whole team,

  • and was veeery confused by the whole rebrand.


and y'know what? it seems i was not the only one.

i heard from a lot of people about this, and they all kind of seemed to agree on some version of this:

  • "Orca" always meant "pods," which meant "whales," which was a euphemism for "fluid membership" and "small team coordination"...

… but now, …

  • "Metropolis" wants to mean "cities" and yet still use "pods?" which are "blocks," now? and they want it to mean "everything works together like a machine"...?
… seriously, did i miss something???
… seriously, did i miss something???

i kept turning it over and over in my mind, trying to justify the change, but every time i started to get close to something convincing, my brain just kept snapping right back to one thought:

"…but cities are so icky, though…"

now, the first reason that i discovered …

… for why people didn't like the rebrand is because:

  • everybody wants to be a killer whale.

yes. seriously.

it's hard to overstate this one.

killer whales are fuckin' cool, and that alone seemed to compel most people to want to try out a "pod." (… myself included.)

secondly, and this one's just as important, …

… people apparently do NOT have high opinions of cities.

like, at all.

no one i talked to even tried defending them.

the sentiment was pretty much:

  • "cities are a mess," and

  • "why would anyone want to be associated with that," and

  • not a whole lot else.

so keep that in mind, too.

despite it all, i gave this new thing a chance. this whole refreshed identity and all.

i did, i really thought about it!

i let it sit for a few days, chewed on it here and there…

…and unfortunately what i need to spit out is:

i think the whale has to go.

look, i'll be the first one to admit that i'm grieving the death of "Orca."

and the very number one reason is that it just ooooozed FUN.

but there's one particular problem that i haven't seen real discussion about: whales don't swim in groups of a thousand.

with the DAO tools and primitives that we're building, we're trying to create a world that is tangibly better than the old one.

and if you've followed the larger conversation, there seems to be two major camps working on this:

  • those focused on small working groups.

  • those focused on gigantic contributor networks.

each side has their pros and cons, but the question isn't "which one is better?"

rather, the question is "how do they come together?"

which means it's finally time for me to actually defend "Metropolis"

the team behind "pods" has always said, "this is how we can start simple and grow into something complex," but the narrative behind Orca just didn't seem to follow:

whales don't have ambitions about reforming society, they just want to swim and eat and play fucked up tricks on their prey.

but the "Metropolis" name completely flips the script and makes it absolutely clear that the team is working on a product that can scale from the tiniest, most intimate teams all the way up to the gigantic, sprawling communities.

instead of pointing vaguely at the horizon and saying “let’s go in that direction,” they’re saying, “we’re working towards something greater! there’s a mission here!”

but everyone's pissed because it means we're not playing football with seagulls anymore.

(… myself included.)

cities aren't fun.

i mean, maybe you think so, but i don't.

and especially building a city doesn't sound like fun.

most "city planning" is a dysfunctional, top-down process, and buildings themselves are pretty much *ahem* set in stone (sorry): and not only do they take a lot of work to build, they can be really difficult to tear down.

plus, there’s the whole mess of bureaucracy and permits and misaligned incentives and a bunch of other things that come with it, and all of that is gross, too.

but even though Metropolis is leaning into this new mental model, it's important to remember what they've been saying since the very beginning, which is:

we can do better.

we're out of the honeymoon phase, alright?

we're not just screaming "POOOOODSSSS" into the twitter replies anymore—this is the future of work we're building.

and i get it: it's not just a meme, or a toy, or a playground, (it actually gets to be a tool now!) and that's a tough pill to swallow for a lot of people. (… myself included.)

but rebranding to "Metropolis" is the clearest signal yet that the team is serious about making this a better world for everyone.

honestly, it's a bold fucking move on their part: they've deliberately associated themselves with something nobody really likes, and now it's their job to do some serious fucking PR in order to reform public opinion about our social and economic structures and their potential.

make no mistake: this is a reality check, and Metropolis is saying loud and clear, "wake the fuck up, we've got work to do."

k, we're near the end now (sorry, it's not as short as i'd hoped), and i want everyone to listen closely, because this is the most important part:

the team. hasn't. changed.

if you're worried about Metropolis becoming a lifeless, soulless, dystopian coordination protocol, then you've forgotten who's building it.

the Metropolis team is one of the best in all of web3, okay? i wouldn't even bet against them with somebody else's money.

they understand the importance of fun.

hell, they had us all meme-ing about pods a full six months before they even launched anything.

and that is ultimately why this rebrand just does not fucking matterrrrrrrrrr.

i can practically guarantee that, in a few months, we're all gonna be head-over-heels in love with Metropolis again—and that's a bet i’d be comfortable making with my parents' retirement money (not financial advice).

so everybody just relax. (… myself included)

the rebrand may have set off some alarms in your head, but honestly? good.

'cause the stakes are actually pretty high, and we should be paying attention.

as for me, i trust the Metropolis peeps.

they know what they're doing.

sure, it’s an uphill battle, but if you haven't seen them transform the narrative and culture of an entire ecosystem before, well… get ready.

'cause they're about to do it again. Ⓜ

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